Thompson Herah NACAC’s Athlete of the Year
The North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) has named double-double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah as one of its Athletes of the Year.
Thompson Herah, 29, had historic moments throughout the 2021 global athletics season, where she won two individual gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Her 100m win came in an Olympic record time of 10.61 seconds, while her 200m victory four days after produced a national record time of 21.53s.
She then took her third gold medal at the Games with victory for Jamaica in the 4x100m relay.
Thompson Herah then turned her attention to the Wanda Diamond League circuit. Competing at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, she clocked 10.54s for victory in the women’s 100m to lower the national record of 10.63s set by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce earlier that summer. Her time is the second fastest in history behind the late American Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo Jo), whose 10.49s has been a world record since 1988.
Thompson Herah followed up that achievement by claiming her seventh Diamond in Zürich, Switzerland, winning the 100m final in 10.65s.
Only five women this century have ended a season with the fastest times in both the 100m and 200m. Coming into the season, four of those five were Jamaican. And this season, Thompson Herah became the first woman ever to repeat that feat after her 2016 success.
In the process, she went under the 10.80s barrier 15 times. Only Fraser-Pryce has more of such runs. But Thompson Herah is the queen of sub-10.70s runs, with four such, more even than Flo Jo. Thompson Herah, Fraser-Pryce, and bronze medallist Shericka Jackson completed the Tokyo women’s 100m medal podium, and the trio have combined for 34 runs under 11 seconds this year.
American shot putter Ryan Crouser is NACAC’s other Athlete of the Year.
He owns both World records, resetting the men’s shot put standard indoors and out this past season. The 28-year-old American champion also captured the NACAC Indoor Male Athlete of the Year, which he followed up with gold at the Tokyo Olympics, and the Diamond League trophy.